‘Batman’ survey: Ben Affleck edges out Michael Keaton as best version of caped crusader

NEW YORK — Ben Affleck might be done with superhero movies, but at least he’ll be fondly remembered. According to a recent poll, nearly one in three Americans still think he’s the best on-screen Batman.

In anticipation of “The Batman,” the caped crusader’s latest film premiere on March 4, OnePoll asked 1,000 survey respondents to weigh in on who they feel brought Batman to life most convincingly by offering up their top three picks.

Overall, Affleck (31%) just barely edged out Michael Keaton as the favorite Batman version (30%). And while George Clooney’s self-described franchise killer ranked low (23%), it wasn’t the bottom of the list. That honor goes to Will Arnett’s comedic portrayal in “The LEGO Movie” and “The LEGO Batman Movie” (21%).

Favorite ‘Batman’ portrayals differ among generations

Not surprisingly, age seems to be a factor. Gen Z and Millennial respondents (ages 18-25 and 26-41) gravitate toward Ben Affleck. Gen Xers (ages 42-55) favor Michael Keaton. Baby boomers (ages 57-71) prefer Adam West from the 1966 live-action TV series.

As every comic fan knows, Batman’s billionaire secret identity warrants a very different performance. So when asked which actor does a better Bruce Wayne, Affleck (33%) lost out to voice actor Kevin Conroy (34%) of the ‘90s animated series and Arkham games.

That goes double for Gen Z and millennials, who overwhelmingly prefer Conroy’s Bruce Wayne (55% and 38%). But what about Robert Pattinson, the latest man to don the cape and cowl? While respondents weren’t asked to give him an official ranking before seeing his actual performance, 58% feel he’ll do a better-than-average job at the very least.

One in four (25%) even theorize that he’s on track to be the best Batman. Millennials seem the most divided though, which isn’t all that surprising, given Pattinson’s past status as a former heartthrob in both the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” franchises.

What about ‘Catwoman’?

Meanwhile, respondents have a harder time nailing down their favorite version of Catwoman, who’ll be portrayed by Zoe Kravitz in the upcoming film.

Data reveals a three-way tie between Michelle Pfeiffer from “Batman Returns,” Anne Hathaway from the “The Dark Night Rises”, and Adrienne Barbeau, who voiced Selina Kyle for the animated series. Halle Berry, the only person to play Catwoman in her own standalone movie, came in fourth with 28%.

The best thing about Batman, though, is that there’s plenty of room to interpret the franchise. One in six respondents (16%) don’t feel there’s ever been a “definitive” version of the character.

A different one in six, however, name Michael Keaton as the definitive Batman, which makes sense. After all, while he and Affleck are returning for “The Flash,” only one of them will be moving on to yet another upcoming cameo in “Batgirl”… and it won’t be Affleck.

Not counting the 2022 film…

Who’s the best BATMAN?
Ben Affleck – 31%
Michael Keaton – 30%
Kevin Conroy – 28%
Christian Bale – 26%
Adam West – 25%

Who’s the best BRUCE WAYNE?
Kevin Conroy – 34%
Ben Affleck – 33%
Michael Keaton – 33%
Adam West – 30%
Christian Bale – 29%

Who’s the best CATWOMAN?
Michelle Pfeiffer – 29%
Anne Hathaway – 29%
Adrienne Barbeau – 29%
Halle Berry – 28%
Julie Newmar – 27%

Who are the best Batman VILLAINS?
Joker – 25%
Penguin – 19%
Riddler – 19%
Catwoman – 17%
Harley Quinn – 16%
Two-Face – 14%
Bane – 13%
Mr. Freeze – 13%
Man-Bat – 12%

 

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